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The jobs that will take 100 years to save for a house deposit

Sam Mitchell

Bar staff may need a stiff drink after they discover it will take them almost 130 years to save for a deposit on an average priced UK house and 320 years for an average property in London, according to research.

The online estate agent compiled a list of the 30 jobs where the average salary would mean – without some significant help from the bank of mum and dad – you’ll be saving for at least 100 years before you are in a financial position to buy an average property in the UK*.

According to Housesimple research, full-time bar staff on an average annual salary of £14,390 would have to save for a staggering 128.2 years to get onto the housing ladder. While hairdressers and barbers would be able to afford to buy an average property by the year 2143.

Housesimple used the most recent ONS Annual Salaries data** to compile the list of jobs, and then ranked by the length of time it would take someone in that job to have enough money for a deposit on a £226,351** property, the price of an average home in the UK according to the Land Registry. The calculations were based on savers putting aside 10% of their net salary every year for a house deposit, and the maximum mortgage loan they could secure would be four times their gross annual salary.

The research reveals that many of the jobs in the top 30 are services that we rely on or use regularly; including hairdressers, childcare, cooks and cleaners. For example, a cook on an average wage, would need to toil away in the kitchens for 113 years to have a large enough deposit to buy an average property. While, it would take a care worker just over 102 years, saving 10% of their salary a year, to afford to buy.

Although these figures are based on buying the average priced UK house, even if you consider the average house price in the cheapest region, the figures are still eye-watering. In the North East, where the average house price is £128,680, it would still take bar staff 54 years to have enough saved for a deposit. While in London, where the average price is £478,853, bar staff would have to save for an astounding 320 years to afford to buy an average property.

Housesimple also compiled figures on emergency and critical services. It would take a nurse, on an average salary of £31,867, just under 40 years to save the deposit for an average property, firefighter 34.5 years, primary school teacher 31.5 years, paramedic 28.4 years and a police officer 20.2 years.

The following table shows the 30 jobs where the average salary would mean it will take at least 100 years to save for an average UK property*.

Job **Gross annual salary (£) Maximum mortgage loan of x4.5 salary (£) Size of deposit for average property (£) 10% net salary put aside every year for deposit (£) No. of years to save required deposit
Bar staff £14,390 £57,560.00 £168,791.00 £1,316.60 128.2
Hairdressers and barbers £14,673 £58,692.00 £167,659.00 £1,335.90 125.5
Playworkers £14,777 £59,108.00 £167,243.00 £1,342.90 124.5
Waiters and waitresses £14,833 £59,332.00 £167,019.00 £1,346.70 124.0
Florists £14,866 £59,464.00 £166,887.00 £1,349.00 123.7
Check-out operators £15,325 £61,300.00 £165,051.00 £1,380.20 119.6
Launderers, dry cleaners and pressers £15,329 £61,316.00 £165,035.00 £1,380.50 119.5
Kitchen and catering assistants £15,402 £61,608.00 £164,743.00 £1,385.40 118.9
nursery nurses and assistants £15,607 £62,428.00 £163,923.00 £1,399.40 117.1
Beauticians £15,885 £63,540.00 £162,811.00 £1,418.30 114.8
Cleaners and domestics £15,901 £63,604.00 £162,747.00 £1,419.40 114.7
Shelf fillers £15,992 £63,968.00 £162,383.00 £1,425.50 113.9
Childcare £16,060 £64,240.00 £162,111.00 £1,430.20 113.3
Cooks £16,106 £64,424.00 £161,927.00 £1,433.30 113.0
Care escorts £16,124 £64,496.00 £161,855.00 £1,434.50 112.8
School midday and crossing patrol £16,166 £64,664.00 £161,687.00 £1,437.40 112.5
Fishmongers and poultry dressers £16,181 £64,724.00 £161,627.00 £1,438.40 112.4
Educational support assistants £16,217 £64,868.00 £161,483.00 £1,440.80 112.1
Pharmacy and other dispensing assistants £16,226 £64,904.00 £161,447.00 £1,441.50 112.0
Teaching assistants £16,292 £65,168.00 £161,183.00 £1,445.90 111.5
Sewing machinist £16,495 £65,980.00 £160,371.00 £1,459.70 109.9
Sales assistants £16,641 £66,564.00 £159,787.00 £1,469.70 108.7
Retail cashiers £16,743 £66,972.00 £159,379.00 £1,476.60 107.9
Vehicle valeters and cleaners £16,956 £67,824.00 £158,527.00 £1,491.10 106.3
Receptionists £17,098 £68,392.00 £157,959.00 £1,500.70 105.3
Housekeepers £17,277 £69,108.00 £157,243.00 £1,512.90 103.9
Care workers and home carers £17,512 £70,048.00 £156,303.00 £1,528.90 102.2
Dental nurses £17,799 £71,196.00 £155,155.00 £1,548.40 100.2
Packers, bottlers, canners and fillers £17,830 £71,320.00 £155,031.00 £1,550.50 100.0
Street cleaners £17,887 £71,548.00 £154,803.00 £1,554.40 99.7

Sam Mitchell, CEO of comments: “Although house price growth has slowed, particularly in London, affordability still remains a major problem in many parts of the UK. The Government has launched a number of schemes such as Help to Buy, Right to Buy, Shared Ownership, and Lifetime ISAs, but more needs to be done to help people on lower incomes.

“Clearly, no-one is going to be saving for 100 years to buy a property, but these illustrative figures do provide a stark picture of the struggle many buyers working in low paying, but essential jobs, face when it comes to buying a home. Of course, there are many areas of the country where house prices are nowhere near the UK average of £226,351 and will be within reach of people on lower incomes.

“But what about those people who are working as cleaners, cooks, hairdressers, in parts of the country such as London and the south, where house prices have boomed since 2008? These services are still essential, but the wages don’t reflect the higher cost of living. For many of these people, they are either looking at a lifetime of renting or relying on help from family members to even consider getting a foot on the ladder.”

1/ Methodology:

* According to Land Registry, average house price across the UK was £226,351 in May 2018, and average first-time buyer property was £204,140 in May 2018.

The average house price in the North West was £128,680 in May 2018 and £478,853 in London

** Annual salaries taken from the ONS Annual Salaries Survey 2017

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